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Just do one thing each day. Friday July 18, 2014

I have been experiencing severe anxiety for nearly five years now and along with this have been periods of low mood.

My career involves counselling and so I spend my days supporting people to move through these difficult stages in their lives but actually, I don't take the supportive advice myself. I know all of the things that I should be doing, I understand the nature of what I experience but getting the motivation to fight the anxious thoughts and go out and do these things is somewhat challenging. I allow anxiety and low moods to get the better of me and I'm not afraid to admit that.

Admitting this is what has allowed me to get to the point now where I can do something about it and start taking the suggestions that I give others. Getting to this point can be difficult; it's taken me five years! Up until now, I have outwardly said that anxiety does not define me but internally I have allowed it to and now it's time to change that.

From experience, I have found that it can be something that you hear, see, read etc. that prompts this change in perspective. It might be something huge that prompts this turning point but it also may be a series of small things that gets you there. For me, it has been a series of small things. Lots of little things that have challenged my way of thinking and taken me one step closer to making change. The latest thing (which has tipped this change process over the edge) was something that I read about how we spend our days when we are feeling low. We often hear that exercise, getting out of bed, eating well and doing things are important to moving the low mood and while this is true, I have found it difficult to simply 'do' these things.

So, to share the advice that I found helpful: Each day, do one thing that makes you feel like you have accomplished something and one thing that you enjoy - it's a place to start and feeling like you have accomplished something in your day can be a really great way of shifting the low mood.

A Moodscope member.

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Rupert Fri, Jul 18th 2014 @ 10:38am

Paige I agree with you - it has to be the way forward - if you are faced with almost endless issues circling your mind it is impossible even to think about finding a solution to them all let alone actually tackle them. So by focusing on one thing however small you get the sense of satisfaction of not just dealing with that issue but also making a positive step in the right direction!

Anonymous Fri, Jul 18th 2014 @ 11:09am

Hi Paige.
I've been applying this principle with my work life. I'm pretty bored at work as I have hardly anything to do. I am paid for the time I spend at work and my boss is working towards retirement and I have said I will stay till the end. However as a person who likes to be busy it is a daily challenge and I procrastinate with things like shredding and filing. So I have decided to do a small amount each day and I'm feeling like I have achieved something and am less bored.
Dawn C Ritchie (forgot my password)

Anonymous Fri, Jul 18th 2014 @ 2:20pm

Hi Paige, I think somehow this blog has become mixed with last Fridays as I was taken there and posted there... Anyway, I'll try again to say, thank you. Honest words spoken which must have taken bravery and this is exactly what I need, and must, adopt. Aiming for it anew, love from the room above the garage.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 18th 2014 @ 3:36pm

This post confirms my opinion that the seemingly small insignificant things make huge differences and changes in our psyches. Intention is one thing, and it's an important component; however accomplishment - of any tiny goal, say, washing a coffee cup - creates a positive feeling and spurs one to "keep going" in the daily routine of life.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 18th 2014 @ 6:00pm

Thanks Paige for this reminder. I, too, discovered when I was at my lowest that focusing on one thing to finish and one thing that brings me even a small sip of happiness would make the day a success.

I still use that "one thing finished" mindset to keep things in progress in my paid work.

Keep sending posts to let us follow your progress and insights.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 18th 2014 @ 7:43pm

Thanks Paige, this was very interesting, but somewhat worrying for as you say counselling is part of your job description. I wonder what your opinion might be if you put yourself in the shoes of one of your clients? When I have had support I trust that that person is getting a lot of support themselves and am also very alert to their body language and their general vibe and gain from their acceptance and positive input, so I can image that your clients, who are no doubt in a very receptive stage might well be picking up on what you feel without either your or they being aware of this. Given that and you wish now to accept support for yourself it might actually take your further up the ladder in that field of work with new knowlege. You must be aware that untreated stress and anxiety leads to depression as well as first one phobia then another and by then we haven't a clue what started it all and the route out is not easy for that very reason, as by then we are telling our doctor we are agrophobic or OCD when it migth have started with a panic attack or early dysfunction in the family that we are still not aware of. Not an easy route back. The triggers for many of us are pre-verbal therefore experienced when we had no words to explain, complain or understand the problem or what was happening to us. We must be kind to yourselves all the time,and one way of doing that is to get as much support as we can and the other is learning to say 'no' to things we don't want to do, whether that is a party, holiday, getting out of bed or meeting someone. We need to attend to ourselves and some will see that as selfish. However we are the only ones who can actually help ourselves in the end and it sometimes means bravely stepping away from our work positions, or into another one in order to deal with our anxieties. You must learn to love yourself as you love others. Stick to your chosen course of action. Pene

Silvai A Sat, Jul 19th 2014 @ 4:38am

"one thing finished"is something I should learn to apply in daily life.
Thanks Paige and those who reinforced it for the reminder.

Lex McKee Sat, Jul 19th 2014 @ 9:00pm

I've just been listening to Brian Tracey's CDs on Time Management - "Eat that Frog." This is based on a quote from Mark Twain, "
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Clearly, Paige is suggesting something positive, but if you are battling with procrastination, Tracey's recommendation is that you face something you've been putting off head on and eat that frog! Of course, if we're feeling low, we will not have the resources to cope with this BUT once we begin to take those tiny steps out of the gloom, eating the proverbial frog can really help us leap forward.

Silvia A Sun, Jul 20th 2014 @ 3:07am

Lex, I left comments for you on Club 45.

Of course, this is not only for Lex, otherwise I would have emailed him privately.

Anonymous Sun, Jul 20th 2014 @ 8:24pm

Great post, thank you, really helpful reminder .

Anonymous Wed, Aug 20th 2014 @ 12:23am

Did you tell her to quit her job? Her personal experience may be a vital part of her and how she responds to clients. She be maybe excellent in what she does because of her struggle.

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